Many long-term disability insurance plans require you to undergo what they refer to as “independent” medical examinations when you apply for long-term disability benefits. The fact is that independent medical exams are anything but independent, since the insurance company pays the doctor to perform the examination. These doctors also likely derive a significant part of their incomes from performing medical exams for insurance companies.
Neuropsychological testing is a highly specialized area of medicine that measures cognition. Thus, these tests can be a good source of objective evidence of cognitive dysfunction. Symptoms of cognitive dysfunction might include problems with memory and thought processing, but insurance companies may dismiss complaints about these issues as self-reported symptoms that are not supported by objective evidence. Neuro-psych exams are one way to provide the objective evidence that insurance companies often require for eligibility for long-term disability benefits.
Aside from memory and thought processing, neuro-psych exams can evaluate executive functioning, speed processing, learning perception, and verbal functioning. The tests also can measure IQ and screen for psychological diagnoses, if any exist.
This type of medical examination is most often used in conjunction with the following diagnoses:
- Traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and seizures
- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases
- Mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and depression
- Medical conditions involving chronic pain, fatigue, autoimmune disorders
Additionally, this testing can shed light on any cognitive decline that appears as side effects from taking certain medications. While neuro-psych exams are not necessary or even desirable in every long-term disability claim, the results of this testing often can be useful in providing medical evidence to support some types of claims.
When your insurance company requests that you undergo specific medical examinations, you need to be aware of your rights and responsibilities under your long-term disability plan. At Bonnici Law Group, we offer you client-centered representation at all stages of the long-term disability benefit claims process. When you need the kind of help that only an experienced long-term disability benefits attorney can offer you, contact Bonnici Law Group at 619-259-5199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.